1789 – The angry citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille fortress. This is regarded as the start of the French Revolution. France was in a major economic crisis and the kings dismissal of his finance minister, who had been sympathetic to the lower classes, was the final straw that put the National Assembly on the move. The people of Paris were encouraged to take up arms and fight. Before they took the Bastille, the actually stormed the Hotel des Invalides which was housing muskets. There were actually few prisoners left in the Bastille, as the economic crisis had made it almost impossible to operate financially. However it was a symbol of royal tyranny. King Louis XVI did not retaliate and most nobles began fleeing the country.
1932 – Princess Margarita of Baden is born in Germany to the Margrave of Baden and Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark. She left Germany in 1948 and lived in London, where she met and eventually married an exiled Yugoslavian Prince, Tomislav. They would have two children, but later divorce. She lived out her days in England, and died there in 2013.
1977 – In not so dead royalty, Swedish Crown Princess Victoria is born in King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia. She is her father’s heir and will be the first Queen regnant of Sweden since 1720.
1223 – Phillip II of France died at age 57. Also known as Phillip the God-Given, he would continue construction on the Notre-Dame be Paris, and would construct the Louvre as a fortress. He spent much of his reign at war with the Plantagenets of England. He is cited as one of the more successful French monarchs because of his popularity and reorganization of the government.
1704 – Sophia Alekseyevna died in a Russian convent at age 46. She was a daughter of Tsar Alexis I, and a sister to Feodor III, and a sister/regent to Ivan IV and Peter I. She was actually Peter’s half sister. In 1682, at Feodor’s death, she was propelled forward in politics to be regent for the mentally incapacitated Ivan and the 10-year old Peter. Sophia was a tough ruler, and did not hesitate to use harsh and violent tactics to reach her goals. Her power waned as Peter grew older, and when he was 17, she was overthrown and forced to enter a convent. There was a plot to free and reinstate her, however it failed, and the conspirators were hung within view of her windows as a deterrent any future involvement in plotting on her part.